A man lies tangled in a shower curtain, lifeless, with blood spattered everywhere; "kill your boyfriend" was the theme of this shoot, conducted by photographer Nikki Riley for one of her clients who'd recently parted ways with her latest beau. Nikki's willingness to transcend boundaries, paired with her creative flair, has sent her to New York City and Atlanta to shoot risqu? and editorial-style fashion spreads and helped her earn a nomination for PHL17's Philly's Hot List of Best Photographers 2011. Raised as a "John Lennon kid" by a photographer mother, her inherited desire to snap shots came to fruition soon after graduating college, when she traded her 9?5 desk job for a career in photography. Nikon D700 in tow, Nikki spends her days at the 1,700-square-foot studio she co-owns, The Hive 215, which features high ceilings, loft windows, vintage furnishings, and a beauty bar where specialists prep clients' hair and makeup.
Though Nikki's fashion and portrait shoots favor bold colors and clean, magazine-quality finishes, her intimate boudoir shoots explore both high and low angles and toy with exposure?in every sense of the word. Taken from the most flattering angles for each body type, shots of lingerie-clad legs and torsos sway from high-contrast black and white to elegantly washed-out color frames lit softly from behind like an angel auditioning for the cover of Maxim. Nikki caters these shoots to the desires and comfort level of each client, letting imaginations run wild with coy pinup poses or showcasing epidermises for keepsake shots of clients in any state of undress.
A subtle heat spreads throughout Fuel the Soul, distinct from the scorching air at hot-yoga studios that warm the room with thermostats. The muscle-melting energy seeps into muscles, coaxing tension away. This brand of heat comes from a system that emits infrared rays, capable of penetrating deeper into tissues and detoxifying patrons while they move through classic yoga poses. Co-owner Greg Fine explains to Patch.com, "Exercising … in an infrared heated sauna can help you burn calories much faster." The heat emanates from lamps that, according to Greg, are identical to those used by surgeons in neonatal hospital units and fast-food line-cooks in NASA space vessels. Customers can reap the heat's benefits, which include a faster metabolism and easier healing, whether they’re attending yoga classes or simply steeping in the far-infrared sauna.
Another offering as unusual as a cat and dog that only fight about who loves the other more is the Gyrotonic workout, "a unique method that uses movements found in swimming, yoga, and tai chi and helps improve strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination." Greg—who studied under Juliu Horvath, the Romanian dancer and exile who developed the exercise to recover after tearing his Achilles tendon and rupturing a few spinal disks—teaches the technique to students of all fitness levels and ages, whether they’re recovering from injuries or courting greater flexibility.
Lauded live on Dr. Oz for reducing inflammation and helping patients manage pain, Cryotek's Cryosauna envelopes clients in an open-top standup booth that surrounds the body with temperatures up -250 degrees Fahrenheit. Cryotek's researchers believe this exposure to cold—known as cryotherapy—during two- to three-minute sessions delivers many positive effects, including aiding clients with weight loss, cellulite reduction, and injury recovery. They also claim the Cryosauna supports other areas of physiological and even psychological health including reducing inflammation from arthritis, soothing irritation from psoriasis, reducing stress, and restoring libido. An FAQ page addresses queries ranging from what the treatment feels like to how it differs from kissing a snowman.
LifeArt Imaging’s lead photographer, Stacy, spent years searching for a photographer to capture her six children’s growth from infancy to maturity. Constantly disappointed by her findings, she took up a camera herself and has since aided many mothers in similar situations. At 1,500 square feet, the studio Stacy helms has plenty of room to prevent subjects from feeling confined during their shoots, and its full bathroom offers privacy for primping or reviewing the difference between a smile and a sneeze. Nestled in the Piazza at Schmidts in the Northern Liberties neighborhood, the studio’s location near varied sources of family-friendly fun is another attraction, although photographers can also shoot clients in their homes or in outdoor venues’ flattering natural light. Afterward, the studio can make prints of images or emblazon them on purses and photo albums.
At FromYouFlowers.com, seasoned florists transform thoughtfulness into colorful bouquets that signify love, friendship, and pride that earn accolades from the likes of CNBC. Cheery orange tulips and pink gerbera daisies trumpet thank-yous and congratulations from elegant vases, and red roses make an ideal complement to romantic dinner dates and horse-drawn bus rides. Festive add-ons such as teddy bears and chocolates accent bouquets with greetings that range from huggable to edible. Many flowers can be shipped the same day they’re ordered, allowing shoppers to surprise love ones with beautiful blooms whenever the desire strikes. To help shoppers connect with far-flung friends, the service shuttles foliage to all 50 U.S. states, plus more than 160 countries, and lunar colonies.
Named a top 25 alternative gym by Greatist.com, RowZone's unique blend of rowing exercises and full-body toning techniques to help students of all ages and abilities stave off the boredom and plateaus of other fitness regimens. During RZ Core workouts, instructors provide helpful pointers and encouragement to students as they shape up with body-toning ergometers.
Each structured session presents a total-body workout that incorporates rowing, resistance training, and fitness techniques that solidify cores and improve flexibility. Additionally, free-weight curls, crunches, lunges, and other rowing exercises work to provide an effective strength-endurance workout.